Everton made a transfer deadline day attempt to bring back Jack Rodwell on loan -- but it fell through when Manchester City failed to sign Porto midfielder Fernando.
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England international Rodwell was lined up for a return to Merseyside in a deal that would also have seen Gareth Barry’s move to Goodison Park made permanent, sources have told ESPN.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez was keen to sign the 22-year-old, 18 months after predecessor David Moyes sold him to City for 12 million pounds.
In order to do that, Martinez would have had to make Barry’s season-long loan switch from City permanent, as Premier League rules prevent a club borrowing two players from the same team at the same time.
Everton’s boss was prepared to do that, and would have paid one million pounds to buy Barry, whose contract at the Etihad Stadium expires this summer.
But although talks did take place to sign Rodwell, hopes of a move fell through when City were unable to complete deals for Fernando and his Porto teammate Eliaquim Mangala.
Rodwell has made just seven Premier League starts since arriving at City in August 2012, with his progress hampered by hamstring problems.
A move back to Goodison, where he began his career after graduating through the youth set-up, would have given him regular games to boost his chances of making England’s World Cup squad.
It would also have bolstered an Everton midfield missing the influence of Darron Gibson, who has been out since October with cruciate knee ligament damage and is battling to return before the end of the season.